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Bridging the gap: Integrating printers with medical technology

31st March 2020

By their nature, hospitals are fast-paced environments that depend on clear and accurate communication between GPs and labs, doctors and nurses in different wards and, of course, staff and patients. Where health is concerned, there can be no room for error or miscommunication – professionals need the right information at the right time to make decisions and reassure their patients.

We are all familiar with the challenges that frontline healthcare workers, including those in admin and support roles, face on a daily basis when demand is high, and resources are stretched. Whatever pressures hospitals faced previously have increased tenfold because of the current COVID-19 crisis. Delivering patient care in these circumstances is difficult enough, without the mountain of paperwork professionals regularly have to contend with too.

As has been the case in other sectors, digital technology has helped both NHS and private providers reduce the admin burden and improve the quality of their service.

Appointment booking systems, with patient reminders, help ensure surgeries and hospitals make the most of clinicians’ time and reduce the risk of errors and no-shows. It is no surprise, therefore, that the NHS is ‘using technology to help health and care professionals communicate better and enable people to access the care they need quickly and easily, when it suits them’.

It certainly makes sense for healthcare providers to move away from paper-based systems, not least because it helps them control the cost of paper and toner, and the fact that bulky patient records take up space. Further problems occur when handwriting is illegible, or that paper deteriorates over time.

Like anything, paper documents are best used strategically so they deliver the best value for healthcare trusts and businesses.

Seamless integration

Able mini printers have been developed to work seamlessly with medical devices and digital systems, requiring minimal intervention from staff. Unlike conventional office printers, they are compact, can be mounted discreetly on walls and integrated with a wide range of medical equipment, including sterilisers, rehabilitation equipment, incubators and in-vitro analysers. Linerless labels are a handy way to attach printouts to patient notes and lab samples and, since staff can choose an appropriate size, they are more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly too.

Our mini printers are widely used in labs to label up samples, so information can be read quickly and easily by professionals in other departments. Something as simple as linking a printer to your booking system means you can issue appointment details to older or vulnerable patients who do not use a mobile, or who want the extra reassurance of a paper reminder.

As we explained in a previous blog, audiologists use printouts when discussing results with colleagues and patients. Rather than looking at a screen, these documents provide a legible point-of-reference, which all parties can understand and question. Another application is recording a patient’s vital signs and communicating key information, such as food or medicine allergies, to staff taking over the shift on a ward. Last but not least, printouts provide a paper trail should digital systems be compromised, either maliciously or because of failed back-ups. One

We have a proud history supporting the healthcare sector for more than 40 years, evolving our products and services in lines with new demands. Today, they bridge the gap between the online and offline world, so information can be stored electronically but clearly documented and communicated to staff and patients.

Find out more about our medical printers.